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CREATIVE WAYS Beach Yoga OF GRATITUDE Private Sessions & Classes

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SPECIAL SECTION: Welcome the Holidays

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re you looking for a way to spice up your Thanksgiving traditions this year? No, I am not talking about the spices in your pumpkin pie--I am referring to getting some Vitamin G, or gratitude. Taking the time out to say the two simple words, “Thank You”, can give your family a major happiness boost, improving your overall health and mood. Scientists have recently discovered how being grateful for what we have gives us energy, inspires us, and transforms us. In a nutshell, it provides life with meaning by thinking of life as a gift. In fact, this may be the most important gift you give your children this holiday season.

How To Teach Children Gratitude

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In her book 10 Mindful Minutes, Goldie Hawn explains that being thankful is not a natural instinct; children need to be taught how to do it. She asks parents to be a good example to their children by thanking them often. It is important to explain to our children why they are being praised. The cornerstone of practicing gratitude is to write down five points you are thankful for that day or week on an ongoing basis in a gratitude journal. Keeping a gratitude journal has been shown to increase our sense of happiness by forcing us to acknowledge the positive moments in our day, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Whether it is a smile from a stranger, a good grade on a test, a gift from a relative, or an awe-inspiring sunset, we begin to feel calmer and more joyful by appreciating these experiences.

Creative Approaches To Express Gratitude

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Here are five creative ways for your children to express gratitude on Thanksgiving and throughout the year. As technology changes and our children learn more about what they can do with computers, iPads, and iPhones, we should show them how to use these tools for something positive–for making them feel better. Most of these activities are do-it-yourself projects that will be fun for the whole family.

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1. Blog Last year my son starting getting writing assignments using a student blog site. He loves seeing his words online and gets so excited when classmates comment on his posts. Why not set up a family gratitude journal blog (password protected, of course)? You can even involve grandparents and cousins, no matter how far they live. You could introduce this idea at the Thanksgiving table and challenge everyone to submit a post each week throughout the year.

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2. Audio Recording Children love to hear their own voices. You can have them record their journal on a phone or iPad. Once you have the recordings, you can get really creative by posting them online for others to listen to or you can even put it to music and create a song or rap using highlights of what they said.

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20 | November 2017 | Wilmington Parent

3. Videos As we know, our kids love playing on their iPads and watching videos of themselves. You can put technology to good use by encouraging them to keep a gratitude video log. They will have a blast talking about what they are thankful for and watching it over and over. Maybe have them pretend to be reporters and their gratitude is the news of the day. Or they can act out scenes from the wonderful moments they had. This not only makes being grateful fun, but it also helps kids practice social interactions. 4. Collage Who said that a gratitude journal had to be filled with flowing prose? A much better approach, especially if you have an artistic child, is to use the power of collage. The great thing about collage is that you do not need to be an art expert to make something beautiful. Instead, you can simply cut out pictures and stick them to a piece of paper, helping your child to practice their motor skills in the process. v

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Wilmington Parent November 2017  

Welcome the Holidays

Wilmington Parent November 2017  

Welcome the Holidays

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